Braun’s goal the difference as Chivas USA downs D.C. United, 1-0

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BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif — An early goal by Justin Braun was the difference as Chivas USA defeated D.C. United at Home Depot Center on Sunday evening.

Braun struck in the 13th minute of the match when after receiving a cross in from Ante Jazic, the burly striker brushed aside defender Barry Rice and sent in a looping header that was too much for goalkeeper Troy Perkins to handle. The goal was Braun's eight of the season, which gives him the team lead.

"My job is to score goals and I always have the confidence that the ball is going in for me and (my goal) was good for the team and gave us the win," said Braun. "Our goal has been to win every game at home and tonight was the first step."

D.C. United struggled to generate offense throughout the match with many of their key starters –including Bill Hamid, Andy Najar and Chris Pontius — left on the bench in preparation for the club's U.S. Open Cup Semifinals. With the Open Cup being the club's only realistic chance to win a trophy this season, head coach Ben Olsen gave his reserves their chance against Chivas. 

It was not until several of the key starters were inserted into the line up during the second half that United was able to create consistent pressure on net. Adding the most energy was Najar who entered in the 57th minute and immediately made in impact streaking down the wing against the Chivas defense. It was in the 69th minute, United would get their best chance on goal as veteran forward Jaime Moreno fired in a header off a corner kick that forced a save off the line by Chivas defender Mariano Trujillo. 

By failing to come back from the early deficit, the struggling United is now 1-15-1 when going down first. For the league's cellar dwellers it was once again business as usual.

"Overall we actually played pretty well. I felt we had a lot of the possession, we created a decent amount of chances," said midfielder Stephen King. "But it’s just been the theme of the season, where we create things but we just don’t finish them then Braun had a nice goal and we couldn't put one away."

While D.C. sought to utilize its bench ahead of the midweek fixture, Martin Vasquez's men brought out what is arguably considered the club's first XI during Sunday's match. Although many are expecting the Rojiblancos to concede defeat, the optimistic Chivas USA coach refuses to give up points in league even if it means sacrificing rest for the Open Cup semifinal. 

“We still have an opportunity in league play,” said Vasquez. “We’re not going to throw in the towel. We’re going to keep taking it one game at a time. Playing at home – we needed to get a win and that will give us confidence for Wednesday’s game.”

Both clubs will now look ahead to the U.S. Open Cup with D.C. taking on Columbus and Chivas USA facing off against the defending Cup champion Seattle Sounders on Wednesday in Seattle. The match is the first U.S. Open Cup semifinal for Chivas USA and arguably the most important match for a club whose playoff hopes are dwindling. 

"A chance to get to the Final of the Open Cup is something that the club has never had the opportunity to do so to play in the semifinal is big and we need to make the most of it," said Chivas USA captain Jonathan Bornstein. " We need to come away with a win and keep a rally going and carry it into the league."

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13 Responses to Braun’s goal the difference as Chivas USA downs D.C. United, 1-0

  1. MadKingGeorge says:

    Is not both US Open Cup Semi Finals on September first: which would be on Wednesday and not tuesday?

  2. Smith says:

    As an RBNY fan, I’d like to mention how much I am enjoying DC’s failures this season and how much I look forward to them relocating the team.

  3. DirtyJerzey says:

    @ Smith. I’m a Metro fan too, and I too love seeing DC as a team struggle, but wishing relocation is a bit much.

    Objectively speaking the DC fan base is a strong and critical one for MLS and frankly they deserve better.

  4. Josh D says:

    We played well and Benny has us playing the best soccer we’ve played all year. I wouldn’t mind him staying on board and given a full season if Bradley is out of our range.

    And why would you want us to relocate when we have the best TRUE fans in the league?

  5. Jimmy Bobo says:

    Jaime Moreno went the whole 90min and I think that he had one of his better performances of the year. Still, he’s only a shell of his former self. Retirement is the right option for ol’ 99.

  6. Kevin in Denver says:

    What a yawnfest. Because of it, though, I had the best night of sleep in my life and am going to need 3 cups of coffee to wake up. Thanks, Chivas USA!

  7. What? says:

    Sorry guy, players hit the crossbar all the time. They’re not snake bitten..They suck. No excuses. The front office must go!

  8. gunnersfan66 says:

    Braun is a class act and deserves to be with a better club. DC is a victim of a better MLS League, and a failure to recognize that the other teams would soon get better and improve the model.

  9. Smith says:

    Baltimore or St louis will have better fans. We’ll manage.

  10. KEEP says:

    I don’t like you

  11. Smith says:

    Good. If you’re a DC fan, that’s the way I like it.

  12. Supsam says:

    im surprised there arent ppl demanding that Braun be given a serious look at the national team. He is like Altidore except he has work ethic. The guy was running like mad for the whole game and was the only bright spot for Chivas USA.

  13. DC Dan! says:

    Pride and Tradition!